Freelance cannabis brand consultant Saxon Wyatt says Australia is on the precipice of a booming cannabis industry – if we can get it right.
Despite the snail-pace movement, it’s still a dizzying time in the Australian cannabis industry right now what with the TGA’s recent decision that could see CBD available over the pharmacy counter by mid-2021 and state-based industrial hemp harvests flourishing across the country.
Plus we’ve seen demand for medicinal cannabis boom with prescriptions up by 82% in 2020 according to TGA figures and ASX biotechs and pharmaceuticals leading the growth of medicinal cannabis on a local and global scale.
While this is all great local news, it poses the question: will the Australian cannabis industry catch up to North America’s sophisticated market? One that sees micro-growers and biotechs shape a thriving recreational and medicinal cannabis market predicted to be worth US$35 billion by 2024.
Back home, even with the ODC and TGA helping to move the industry in the right direction, the every-state-for-itself attitude is making national reform a little hazy. A case in point was the Greens’ efforts to make medicinal cannabis use a defence against drug-driving convictions being voted down in the NSW parliament.
It feels like only the likes of big pharma will stand a chance of cracking through the regulatory fog.
The long-term danger for Australian cannabis consumers is a sea of sameness – a homogenised and limited product range offered by a handful of biotechs and only available through compound chemists with no point of product difference.